Tuesday, April 13, 2010

You do not LOOK Mormon

I have traditionally loved Sundays. People I work with are critical of the three to four hours I spend at church every Sunday. I tell them that it is just what I do. It is a part of who I am. They also get frustrated because I do not partake of the things that they do. I do not judge them. I laugh with them. I go out with them. I do not drink alcohol with them. They know this, yet it frustrates them, and, quite frankly, it angers a few of them. I have spent years trying to figure out why it frustrates them; I have stopped trying to figure this out. I have learned that because I do not look Mormon, some of my co-workers expect me to act as they do.

My students have not always known I was a "Mormon." I make it clear at the beginning of the year that I have certain standards. I do not elaborate unless I am asked. Eventually, I am asked. My first year was the funniest. Throughout the first semester my students learned that I do not swear, I do not drink, I do not smoke, and I have never tried an illicit or illegal drug. At the end of the year, it came out that I was, in fact, "A MORMON."  It was silent when this news came about. The class was shocked. I asked why they were shocked.

"You do not look like a Mormon," was the overwhelming response. This is not the first time I have been told this. In high school when I was baptized. In college when I was inactive and my visiting teachers came over for the first time. (Let me tell you, that is not a way to get to know someone you visit teach.) And even now, my husband and I have been told that we do not look like a "typical Mormon couple." This is an interesting statement that we have heard on more than one occassion.

And even though I most certainly act like a Mormon. Wait, scratch that, there is no "acting" involved.
I live my life in accordance with Gospel standards. My husband lives his life in accordance with Gospel standards. We teach our children to live their lives in accordance with the Gospel. We are Mormon every single day of the week, not just for three hours on Sunday.

I continue to wonder what exactly does a Mormon woman look like? Apparently, not me.